A Man's World? The Impact of a Male Dominated Environment on Female Leadership

80 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 18 Oct 2018

Andreas Born

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Eva Ranehill

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics

Anna Sandberg

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Date Written: July 3, 2018

Abstract

Despite the significant growth in female labor force participation and educational attainment over the past decades, few women reach leadership positions. In this study, we explore whether male dominated environments, in and of themselves, adversely affect women´s willingness to lead a team. We find that women randomly assigned to male majority teams are less willing to become team leaders than women assigned to female majority teams. Analyses of potential mechanisms show that women in male majority teams are less confident in their relative performance, less influential, and more swayed by others in team discussions. They also (accurately) believe that they will receive less support from team members in a leadership election. Taken together, our results indicate that the absence of women in male dominated contexts may be a self-reinforcing process.

Keywords: leadership, gender differences, experiment

JEL Classification: C92, J16

Suggested Citation

Born, Andreas and Ranehill, Eva and Sandberg, Anna, A Man's World? The Impact of a Male Dominated Environment on Female Leadership (July 3, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3207198 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3207198

Andreas Born

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

Eva Ranehill

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Gothenburg, 41124
Sweden

Anna Sandberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

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